Paloma Gomez Borrero a popular reporter specializing in religious information and the Holy See, gave on Tuesday 19th June, a conference on “my voyages with John Paul II and Benedict XVI” in the lecture hall Saint Tecla of the Tarraconensian Centre: The Seminary, in front of a large public attendance. Gomez Borrero explained interspersed with moments of humour, simplicity and proximity some of her experiences and anecdotes lived by the side of the beat John Paul II, during the one hundred and forty trips by the side of the pontifex during three decades, as also with the twenty three trips which she has realised with the actual Holy Father Benedict XVI.
Among the many anecdotes lived by the reporter she recalled the election of John Paul ii as Pope. “To follow a conclave is more passionate than you could imagine.” The day of the election of cardinal Wojtyla was the 16th October and he lived it in conversation with a group of Spanish nuns. Gomez Borrero told with a touch of humour that it was logical that being a festival day of Saint Eduvigis, a polish saint, should be elected a polish Pope.
The reporter did not doubt much in knowing that the next Pope would be Josep Ratzinger. “During the last Via Crucis on the Friday Saint John Paul II gave us to understand who would be the next Pope and gave charge of the media to Joseph Ratzinger”, saying “ It is obvious that Benedict XVI has not the charisma of John Paul II, but he is noted for his great humility and affability. He has extraordinary charm” he explained.
Paloma Gomez Borrero recalled some of the voyages with John Paul II to Hiroshima and Sarajevo, were we can read one of his most precious speeches on the value of forgiveness. On the other hand, she spoke of the voyages realised by Benedict XVI to Angola, Jerusalem and the Lebanon, to ask for peace and justice as in the last one realised to Cuba. A series of anecdotes and experiences which raised emotions in those present.
Youth played an important role in her conference, John Paul II believed in youth, and he impulsed the World Meetings of Youth. “One of the first words he directed was: Do not fear opening wide the doors to Christ. John Paul II had a prediliction for youth for Christ. One of the first voyages of Benedict XVI was to the JMJ at Cologne and according to Paloma Gomez Borrero – “by both Popes the JMJ have been remarkable.”
This popular communicator remarked on the estime which Benedict XVI has in Spain, recalling the important memories of the JMJ of Madrid and the dedication of the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) at Barcelona.
In the case of the filtered documents of the Vatican “Vatileaks”, the reporter explained that the acts had caused great pain to the Holy Father, both for the contents filtered, and also because a loyal person had failed. “He has much harmed the church, but we confide that all will return to normal soon.” she concluded.